Thursday, April 03, 2008
Was Bendtner offside and selfish?
By 1970’s Gooner
There are two striking aspects with regard to Nicklas Bendtner’s involvement on the goal line when Fabregas’s shot looked goal bound.
The first concerns whether the linesman got the decision right to flag Bendtner offside which would have ruled out the goal had Bendtner scored himself.
There are some interesting complications arising out of that incident. Firstly whether he was indeed offside.
Well on the one hand he looks as though he was, as Reina the Liverpool goalkeeper was actually in front of him leaving only Hyppia between Bendtner and the next Liverpool player.
And as we all know you need to be between two opponents to be ruled offside whoever they are.
However there is another twist to this line of thinking.
If you look closely at the video of the incident (on the right hand side of this page on the video bar) you will see that there is another Liverpool player, Carragher, who is technically on the field of play as his hand is touching the line next to Reina’s post.
He had slid off a moment earlier trying to tackle Adebayor who had initially crossed the ball into the area.
So Bentner was not offside and the linesman was wrong to flag.
Also if Bendtner had jumped over the ball there was no way the linesman could have flagged for offside as he was not interfering with play anyway. There was no opponent near him enough to be put off by Bendtner’s presence there.
But was Bendtner trying to get out of the way of the shot or was he trying to guide it into the goal?
Arsene Wenger explained after the game: "Nicklas says he wanted to get out of the way but he couldn't. It's unbelievable."
Opinions differ and you can make your on mind up. To me it looks as though he is trying to claim the goal for himself as his foot is trying to caress it into the net. But others may look at it differently.
Was Bendtner selfish or was he trying to get out of the way?